A 43-year-old Chafford Hundred man has been ordered to pay nearly £1,500 after allowing his garden to become such a mess it could harbour vermin.
Paul McConville of Swiftsure Road, failed to appear before Basildon magistrates on Wednesday 1 March, and was convicted in his absence.
The court heard how Thurrock Council’s environmental protection team had received a complaint from neighbours concerning the waste in joint parking bays.
It included soft furnishings, black bags, food and other waste that could encourage vermin.
He was charged with failing to comply with a Prevention of Damage by Pests Act Notice and not removing items likely to harbour pests.
Council officers took photographs and many attempts were made to contact the defendant through letters, notices and knocking at the front door. However, none were answered.
McConville was fined £660, with costs of £717, and was ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £66 – a total of £1,443.
Speaking after the verdict, Thurrock Council’s Leader, Cllr Rob Gledhill, said: “This case came to my attention last year. I visited the site shortly after the council had removed significant amounts of rubbish dumped on the highway.
“The resident was told to clear up his property and not to dump it on the street or communal areas. The behaviour continued and this conviction has shown the council’s commitment to cleaning up the borough, not just through clean it, cut it, fill it in public spaces, but through court action to stop those causing misery to neighbours and local residents.
“Officers always try hard to work with residents when there are issues – even in a privately owned home like this one. But there comes a time when enough is enough and further action must be taken. Going to court in instances like this is a last resort, but let me make it clear, it is something we will not shy away from if a problem persists.”